In so many ways, a blog that deals with personal finance from a Christian perspective is a perfect marriage. Successfully managing personal finance is largely about adopting a life based on delayed gratification. Christianity meanwhile, teaches us to move steadily closer to God through Jesus Christ throughout our lives, and to rely completely upon Him, which ultimately will result in eternal salvation.
There seems to be a connection then between pursuing financial independence and attaining eternal salvation. If this seems like a stretch, consider some of the following points.
The Gospel Does Not Promise Us Paradise This Side Of Heaven
When you first become a believer in Jesus Christ your worldly troubles don’t magically disappear. You will not yet enter the Kingdom of Heaven, nor will you be sinless or made perfect. Quite the opposite! It is usually the beginning of a process that is sometimes referred to as patient endurance.
The Apostle Paul spells this point out clearly:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” – Philippians 3:12
In fact, in 2 Timothy 4:7, he likens the Christian’s life to a race:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7)
If you have ever run in a race, you know that there are times when you will be making incredible progress – and other times when you seem to be getting nowhere. There may even be times along the way when you will stumble and fall, and need to collect your wits before going forward. But your overriding objective is always to focus on the goal.
Our job as Christians is to press on toward the goal of salvation in the midst of living an imperfect life in an imperfect world. But always we have to have faith in the outcome, that we’ll have eternal life with our Savior in Heaven.
Financial Independence Comes From Doing Without Today For A Better Tomorrow
One of the reasons why so many people never achieve any level of financial independence is because they are consumed by the issues of the moment. There are bills to pay, things to buy, and fires that need to be put out. They can soak up all of our time, energy and money. The problem with that arrangement is that we never move forward toward the independence we hope to achieve.
But in order to have that independence, we have to become more future oriented – we have to let go of some preferences and habits today, in order to pave the way for a better future. If we are never able to grasp that concept – and to put it into action – the likelihood is that tomorrow will look just like today.
Both the “race” for financial independence and eternal salvation involve a large dose of delayed gratification, to always be focused on the goal at the end, rather than the troubles and desires of the moment.
The Key To Attaining Both: Letting Go Of What Tempts Us
Whether it is eternal salvation or financial independence, temptations always have us surrounded. On the financial side, we will always have unlimited wants. We want a bigger house, a better car, and yet another vacation. But unless we are willing to let go of those forms of instant gratification, our financial futures may not get any brighter.
The same is true with eternal salvation. We have to let go of much of what it is that ties us to the world. The world may put a premium on chasing money, power, popularity and even fame. But if we hope to obtain eternal salvation, we need to be ready to let go of earthly pursuits. Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior is the key to our salvation, but our willingness to let go of everything else is proof that we are His.
Both financial independence and eternal salvation call us to delayed gratification. It’s about sacrificing today for a better tomorrow – and believing in our mission along way.
Am I saying that the pursuit of financial independence might – or even should – be easier for Christians? Maybe, maybe not. But the direction is the same with both, which should be a major clue.
Can you see a connection between eternal salvation and achieving financial independence?
photo credit: skambalu
© 2013, Kevin M. All rights reserved.